About the challenge
Join us for this Trekathon around our capital city, taking in world-famous sights and less well-known corners as we trace our 26-mile route through London, paying homage in Stepney to the historic work of Dr Barnardo. Our challenging day takes us west from the Olympic Park in Stratford through peaceful parks and alongside waterways, passing famous sights including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye as we walk towards our finish point on the Thames at Greenwich, right by the famous Cutty Sark. This is a tough one-day event through the urban landscape; at approx 26 miles, it forms an enormous challenge for walkers. There will be full support throughout the challenge with marshals and water stops along the route.
Our day starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. Centre of the 2012 Olympic Games, it’s a great place to start our own challenge. We set off along traffic-free walkways and canal towpaths, enjoying the views of this quiet corner. We pass through Victoria Park and continue along Regent’s Canal to Regent’s Park. We walk a short distance through the park, which is home to London Zoo and a favourite with many Londoners and tourists alike for its peaceful atmosphere. Passing the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, we loop south through Little Venice, and cross Hyde Park, circling round past the Natural History Museum and Harrod’s before returning to Hyde Park. Leaving at Hyde Park Corner, the next few miles take us past a procession of landmarks including Constitution Hill and Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. Passing Downing Street and the Cenotaph, we continue south past Westminster Abbey and come to the Thames, which we cross for fabulous views across the river to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.Crossing back over the Thames, we walk along Victoria Embankment with views across to the London Eye and many other famous buildings, including Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. We pass the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, heading eastwards towards Greenwich Park.
We pass through the historic London Docks area around Wapping, much of which has since been filled in and re-developed. We then leave the riverside and head north into Stepney, where Barnardo was first made aware of the plight of children living homeless on the streets. We pass the site of his first boys’ homes, and one of his ragged schools, now a museum. Our route then returns through Limehouse and rejoins the river, taking us via Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs, now home to some of the UK’s tallest buildings. We then cross the Thames one final time, via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. We finish our epic Trekathon by the beautiful 19th century Cutty Sark clipper ship in Greenwich.There is time to celebrate with your fellow participants before returning home or continuing with sightseeing and enjoying all that London has to offer!
Total distance: Approx 26 miles / 42 km
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
• Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support staff throughout to manage the event safely and enjoyably
• Maps and route information
• Marshalling stops with water and snacks; lunch; hot drinks at end
It does not include:
• personal insurance (optional)
• any parking fees or transport costs
• accommodation if required
We strongly recommend you bring approx £50 and carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. Please see our website for more details.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.
Preparing for the challenge
We trek on tarmac paths and pavements around the city and its parks. Groups may set off at staggered intervals (depending on numbers) but you can go at your own pace. The full 26-mile walk should take approximately 8-9 hours for fit and strong walkers; others should allow longer. It may take some walkers up to 12 hours. This is not a competitive event! You can go at your own pace, but if we are concerned about you being able to finish the distance safely, we will recommend you stop early.
Be prepared for any weather! This is a long day event, and you will need appropriate, good quality footwear and clothing to cope with the weather conditions, terrain and distance.
Clothing & Equipment
We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice. Each person should bring a small daypack to carry lunch, camera, waterproofs, sun cream, a warm fleece and any other items needed during the day.
This is a long and tough one-day walk and it is consequently vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. The more training that you do the more you will enjoy the experience!